Remembering Robin Williams

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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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Remembering Robin Williams

Saying Goodbye To A Hero

Today I write with a heavy heart. Because today I say goodbye to a hero – Robin Williams. No, I didn’t know him. We had no chance encounters. No chatting over cocktails. I never even saw him up close.

But I feel like I knew him.

We all did.

Because he made us laugh, over and over, and worked his way into our hearts. Every decade of my life has his footprint on it.  I experienced him from an audience. I learned from him as another funny person studying the art of humor.

From Mork to Patch Adams to Mrs. Doubtfire, to all the characters he played that gave me laughter, hope, wisdom, courage, and belief.  He embodied the art and soul of making people laugh and feel.

The Dark Side of Comedy

While I haven’t suffered from dark depression as he did, and will not try to say I know how he felt, I do know what it feels like to be seen by the world as the one always laughing even when you’re not laughing on the inside.

Even funny people have pain.

Comedians just learn to laugh at it, or rather laugh through it.

As a motivational speaker, I’m always trying to make people happy. As Robin reminds me, it’s not that easy.  And some darkness is just insurmountable.  Even in death, Robin teaches me to see those suffering from depression through the eyes of compassion.

To Those Who Understand How Robin Felt

I would also like to make a quiet plea to anyone out there reading this, who understands exactly how Robin felt – who faces a darkness each day that threatens to overwhelm them. Please don’t wait for us to pick up on a silent clue. Please don’t suffer in silence.

Please don’t go through this alone. Please reach out and get the help you need.  There may be people out there who can help you find the light again.

Gone But Not Gone

He may not be here, but his legacy will live on forever through his characters and his movies – his goofy smile, contagious laugh, and wise eyes. Robin, you always have, and always will make a lot of people in this world happy.

My heart breaks that you weren’t able to find it yourself.

Rest in peace.


Need help? Know someone who needs help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline